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Three Testaments: for Classroom, Congregation or General Reader?

March 18, 2013
Three Testaments: Torah, Gospel and Quran - for Classroom, Congregation or General Reader? 3T has been quoted in classrooms and discussed in seminars, particularly in Boston area universities and seminaries, which is also the hottest single market for the book. Academics and leaders of the United Church of Canada have taken the lead in devising classroom and congregational study programs based on the book, but “who knew” how complex the accrediting and approvals procedures have become since many of us were thus engaged.

Professor James Christie at the University of Winnipeg will be working with colleagues there to develop a template for a university / seminary credit course that others may then emulate, including input from Jewish and Islamic scholars at that United Church related school. That Winnipeg syllabus will be published in a Study Guide due out before fall, along with at least two templates for congregational / community study groups to be developed under guidance of Janet Ross, the new Program Coordinator for Intercultural Education and Engagement at the General Council Office of the United Church.

A sample of the simple approach to take meanwhile can be found by googling The Three Testaments: Torah, Gospel, Quran - Lehrhaus Judaica, the title of an excellent program to be presented in April at the Temple Sinai synagogue in the San Francisco Bay area by Rabbi Ruth Adar, whose familiarity with the text goes back to involvement in its initial launch in September 2012.

I’d be happy to hear from more of you with ideas on classroom and group study plans at any time, with your permission to forward your ideas to those preparing syllabus and study guide materials.

Meanwhile, though the book is published by Rowman & Littlefield, who consider themselves first and foremost an academic publisher (with a range of sub-imprints for trade publications), it is abundantly clear that the general readership is driving the 3T sales in trade circles, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other carriers, online and in-store.

That has been described as a “National Geographic” level of readership – a description spurned by several academics who wish to protect the book’s scholastic reputation, even though many of them read the Biblical Archeology Review at the same level. Our initial fear was that 3T might seem like an intimidating book, but now we would like to hope that writing in a clearly understandable style does not disqualify a book from academic consideration.
Posted by: Brian Arthur Brown